Fed Cup World Group Play-Off tie between Latvia and Germany will take place in Riga between April 19-20 on an indoor hard court, with two countries facing each other for the first time. After losing the last two ties in 2017 against Great Britain and Hungary, Latvia has won the previous six Fed Cup encounters in 2018 and 2019, including the latest one against Slovakia in February.
The same venue (Arena Riga) will host Germany this weekend, with Anastasija Sevastova and Jelena Ostapenko leading the home squad against the rivals who can't count on their best player Angelique Kerber. World no. 5 has decided to miss the upcoming clash and not travel to Riga, dealing with the flu that eventually prevented her from entering the 15th Fed Cup tie.
The captain Jens Gerlach has confirmed the news, saying there were in touch with Angelique all the time until the moment she had to cancel Riga trip and focus on her health, leaving Julia Goerges, Andrea Petkovic, Mona Barthel and Anna-Lena Groenefeld to defend the national colors against the strong host squad.
Kerber had some good results so far in 2019, reaching the semi-final in Doha and Monterrey and competing in the title match at Indian Wells, losing to Bianca Andreescu in three sets. Angie has won 12 out of 25 Fed Cup rubbers so far, suffering two losses against Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova in the semi-final last April at home in Stuttgart on clay.
"I am disappointed and sad that I have to cancel the Fed Cup match against Latvia due to health reasons," said Kerber. "Unfortunately, after the prolonged flu, I did not get a medical clearance and had to take a break for the next few days.
Even though I can't be there, I'm in contact with the team and I'm sure the girls will prevail in the relegation."